So, You Want to Look Like a Spice Girl?

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Fulfilling important childhood dreams.

When I was in elementary school, Spice Girl clubs were all the rage. No, not nightclubs that only played Spice Girls. That would have been 9 year-old-me paradise, but luckily I’m not Drew Barrymore and I didn’t go to rehab at 13. No, Spice Girl clubs were groups of 5 girls, each who took on the role of a different Spice Girl during recess. There was a weirdly competitive aspect of the Spice Girl clubs as well – the best Spice Girl club was the one with the most closely matching appearances and personalities. Thus, the giggly blondes were always Baby, the intense athletes were always Sporty, and so on. I’m not a redhead, more of a dirty blonde, but I was chosen to be Ginger Spice.

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If you don’t think Ginger Spice was the best Spice Girl, let’s have a lively-yet-respectful discussion in the comments. But let try to me convince you first. The Spice Girls were the first and perhaps greatest pop group to squeeze their singers into ridiculously caricatured personalities. Every single photo-shoot had to reflect their assignations: Scary was the wild girl, Posh was a fancy bitch, and Ginger was … redheaded? No, much more than that. She embodied the flavorful side of ginger. She was silly. She was campy. She always looked like she was having the most fun. And that’s a life philosophy I can live by.

This costume is legit, right?
This costume is legit, right?

I haven’t thought about the Spice Girls in years, but it’s weird remembering how important they were to me in 3rd and 4th grade. I remember how insanely excited I was for the sleepover at my friend’s house where we watched a concert on pay per view. And I remember being shocked and a little confused when they performed “Naked” straddling chairs, wearing glitter eyeliner and little else (not making this up – here’s the video proof). My girl scout troop went as a group to see Spice World, the greatest movie about pop stars and aliens. How could you ever forget the trailer? (Posh in a miniskirt: “Is my skirt too short?” “No” Posh pulls up skirt even shorter).

Cat Eye? Awesome. Looking perpetually surprised? Less awesome.
Cat Eye? Awesome. Looking perpetually surprised? Less awesome.

This fall I found a Union Jack flag dress in my bag of costumes, which I acquired through mysterious and likely magical means. Obviously, I had to be Ginger Spice for Halloween this year, so I needed to figure out the makeup. As much as I love her, there are some beauty tips from Ginger that you don’t want to repeat. Namely the skunk highlights and the tadpole eyebrows. No matter how cool the 90s become, those are not coming back, not if I can stop it.

I decided to go with exaggerated cat eye with liner on the bottom rim. That liner is important – it’s less elegant than the top eye only look, but you’re not aiming for elegance. Liner on the outer bottom rim helps modernize it from the 60s to the 90s. Let me break the look down for you:

Close up
Close up

1)   Apply primer and foundation. You could go for two coats of foundation if you’re trying to get that authentic Photoshopped pop star look, but I hate covering up my freckles. I like YSL’s light-to-medium coverage Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation.

2)   Apply eye primer (I use Urban Decay’s Primer Potion) and a coat of bright silver eyeshadow across the lid (I used Physician’s Formula Smokey Blue Eyes Shimmer Strips. It’s not very highly pigmented, but it’s a deal for all the shades in it).

3)   Using a crease brush, lightly shade in your crease with a darker charcoal color – like Urban Decay’s Gunmetal (found in the Naked palette or as a single shade).

4)   Apply liquid liner across the lid, starting from the inner rim and angling out for a half inch beyond your eyelid. Thicken the line, this time starting on the outside aiming in, creating a straight line between the outer point and your eyelash roots.

5)   With a kohl pencil – I used Makeup For Ever’s Aqua Eyes in 01 – softly go over the outer edge of your lower rim. Blend with a smudge brush.

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6)   Use a silver eyeliner to highlight your inner tear ducts for that special pop star glow. I used Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof liner in Silver Dollar. Waterproof liners are the way to go when you’re near the waterline.

7)   For serious lashes without the hassle of fake eyelashes, I recommend using a white lash primer under your mascara. I’m using a sample of Lancome Cils Booster XL. I topped that with my current favorite mascara, Buxom Lash in Black. No tasteful brown mascara today.

8)   Apply a highlighter along your cheekbones, above your lips, at the center of your chin and the bridge of your nose. I used Benefit’s High Beam.

9)   Apply a rosy pink cheek and lip stain, like Benefit’s Benetint, for that just-finished-a-concert glow.

10)  Top the center of your lips with a pale pink sparkly lip gloss. Oh yea, lip gloss – super late 90s. Luckily these days we have next generation lip gloss, like Buxom’s Lip Polish in April.

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Ten steps to becoming your fourth grade hero – not so hard, after all. My costume was a big success at the party, except the one time when someone mistook me for Lana Del Ray. Nope. Bow down to the original.

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